It’s all progress. And progress is messy.
We live in a very fast-paced world and if you’re even remotely of the overachiever variety, you probably have any number of things you’re trying to accomplish at a given time:
– Work hard to produce meaningful success at a job you enjoy
– Stay in touch with friends, near and far
– Read the stack of books on your nightstand
– Be a good employee, friend, significant other
– Eat something green once in awhile
– Try not to drink all the beer
– Use the gas stove for its intended purpose (making a home-cooked meal)
– Make paying for that gym membership worth it
– Catch up on the 8 shows you’ve added to your list on Netflix
– Call your mom
– Get rid of those old shoes you never wear anymore
– Make a scrapbook someday
– Finally hang curtains in the bathroom
And that doesn’t even scratch the surface. It’s oh so easy to feel like we’re falling behind in the world. When I stay late at work, I’m immediately behind on making it to the gym, grocery shopping, finally doing laundry. When I leave work on time, I feel anxious I won’t meet that project deadline in time even if I did make it to the gym to swim laps.
I constantly feel behind in some way. Recently though, I stumbled upon a little thought nugget of gold.
It’s all progress. No matter what.
Our list, that ultimate list of everything we want to do in life is ongoing forever and always. And each day, we are making a little bit of progress in one area or another. We feel behind because we didn’t make progress in the fun areas, or the areas we’ve been neglecting or in ALL the areas. But it’s still progress, people. We’re still moving forward inch by inch.
We never give ourselves credit for the progress, how beautiful and messy and wonderful and so damn stressful it is. That’s why we never find balance.
The key to balance then (I’m guessing here because I still haven’t actually found it) is in taking that little bit of daily progress and putting it where we need it. Where we need it to feel whole, to feel content, to feel happy, to feel in control. Maybe today I need that little bit of progress at work so I can walk out of the office feeling empowered. Tomorrow maybe my progress will focus on finally making it to my morning work-out. Some days our progress will be divided up all over every little thing in life. At other times, it may ebb and flow like the tides of the deep, blue sea.
I’m actually not at all sure if this is the key to balance. But I’ve been thinking… if step A is recognizing that we’re making progress and not focusing on falling behind and step B is deciding to make progress in the areas that will make us happy on any given day, then step A plus step B probably equals one giant step closer to finding balance. Am I right?